How Is Mental Health Billing Different From Medical Billing?

It is especially frustrating to file insurance claims for mental and behavioral health benefits. From the types of services offered to the pre-authorization needed and who takes care of the books, you’re at a disadvantage compared to other health professionals. If you’ve been struggling to get claims honored, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to improve your approval rate.

Why Is Mental Health Billing So Complicated?

Counselors and psychiatrists provide services in a distinctly different way than other healthcare professionals. Instead of performing an eye exam or taking x-rays, you spend most of your time in therapy sessions. Major insurance companies dictate how long these treatments can take, as well as how many can take place per day. This makes it extremely difficult for mental healthcare providers to balance adequate treatments with a successful billing plan.

The differences between medical billing and mental health billing are amplified by office budgets. Counselors who run private practices often process their own bills in order to cut down on operating costs. Without a dedicated staff member to keep up-to-date on healthcare billing codes, changing regulations and the billing practices of each insurance company, rejection rates will rise.

In order for an insurance claim to be quickly processed, you must:

  • Use the required billing format for your patient’s insurance company.
  • File within the time allowed by the insurance plan.
  • Apply the appropriate code for the treatment delivered.
  • Limit the bill’s total to the fee allowed by your patient’s insurance policy.
  • Include the appropriate policy number on the bill claim.
  • Receive pre-approval for treatments when needed by the insurance plan.
  • Submit the claim to the right address.

There are fewer pitfalls involved in medical billing vs. mental health billing simply because billing is more straightforward. The billing is also handled by an expert in most cases.

Biggest Billing Concerns for Mental Health Providers

On average, only 85 percent of claims for mental and behavioral healthcare are approved. To start improving your approval rates, there are a few techniques you can use:

  1. Double-check your patients’ insurance before each visit. Policies change and coverage lapses. Unless we make an effort to stay updated, we’re often the last to find out through a billing rejection.
  2. Stay up-to-date on each company’s preferred filing methods. Paper and fax filing is on its way out, and more companies are switching to email and online filing services. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always inform you when they change billing methods, so it’s up to you to ask.
  3. Encourage easy cash payments for patients with poor quality or no insurance coverage. More than one clinic has given up working with insurance companies entirely. Whether you join a network depends largely on their pre-approval policies and the limits they’ll pay. While many patients expect to pay with insurance, it may be in your best interest to offer sliding-scale or deferred payments instead.

You can also get help from mental and behavioral healthcare billing specialists like BPS. Rid yourself of the worry and the liability that comes with the complications of insurance filing. Contact us for a free quote today!

What Constitutes Mental Health Billing Services?

Now that you understand how mental health billing is different from medical billing, you may wonder what falls under billing for mental health services with respect to the services we provide at BPS Billing. The types of mental health billing we can assist with include:

  • Behavioral Health Billing: To successfully bill for behavioral health, you need a strong understanding of the various codes that behavioral health treatments fall under. Billing mistakes can lead to rejections and cause delays in payment. We’ll make sure your behavioral health billing claims are submitted correctly and on-time.

 

  • Psychologist/Psychotherapy Billing: Using billing software that doesn’t properly consider psychology creates challenges. Finding the right codes and keeping track of reimbursed claims can be difficult. Our mental health billing software is designed with psychologists and psychotherapists in mind, so finding codes, managing billing and keeping track of various claims is simple.

 

  • Psychiatry Billing: Psychiatric billing is often more like traditional medical billing than mental health medical billing because psychiatrists are medical doctors. However, there are still challenges to face and pitfalls to avoid when billing as a psychiatrist and BPS billing has the experience to navigate them.

 

  • Mental Health Billing for Non-Profits: If you’re responsible for mental health billing for a non-profit, you have to overcome two layers of challenges — those that come from billing for what some consider a non-traditional healthcare service, and those from addressing the special needs and processes of non-profits companies. For this reason, it can be very important to bring in a qualified third party to handle your medical billing. BPS Billing has worked with many non-profits, and we understand that you can’t afford to wait weeks to get paid. We’ll help you code your claims correctly, avoid the problems that insurance companies cite to avoid paying you and track down those unpaid or rejected claims to make sure your non-profit gets the money it deserves.

 

  • Therapist Billing: As a therapist, you may often find the needs and concerns of your patients overwhelming. You don’t need to add the stress of dealing with various insurance companies and working out which billing codes they will accept. With BPS Billing, you won’t have to. Our software makes finding and inputting codes easy, and we’ll work with the insurance companies so you can focus on providing care to your clients.

How BPS Billing Can Help Your Practice

The professionals at BPS Billing have over 20 years of experience working in the mental health billing industry. We’ve helped physicians and therapists running solo operations, groups managing larger private practices, and non-profit organizations streamline their operations. BPS Billing can help you smoothen out your cash flow, improve your practice’s relationships with insurers, and manage disputes, all while maximizing your revenue.

When you choose our mental health billing management software, you also won’t have to worry if our system complies with federal privacy laws. Your BPS Billing website interface is not only secure and easy to use, but it’s also ICD-10-compliant and HIPAA-compliant.

BPS Billing Submits Claims Correctly the First Time

You already know that proper coding is of paramount importance if you want to be reimbursed quickly. Our therapist billing software starts by verifying the patient’s insurance coverage. Next, we accurately code the claim and submit it promptly. Not only will your claims be clean the first time we submit them, but we’ll also drastically reduce the number of rejected and partial payments you get back. That improves your practice’s cash flow and helps you keep your focus on your patients.

BPS Billing Pursues Insurers for Unpaid Claims

We get it — nothing is more frustrating than fighting over unpaid claims with the insurance company. Luckily, this is our area of expertise. When you work with us, the number of unpaid claims will decrease, but we’ll also fight for the ones that get rejected. Let us manage your billing and we can take the aggravation of dealing with insurers off your plate. That includes questioning claim rejections, pursuing full payment of partially-reimbursed submissions, and following up on approved claims that have yet to be paid.

In short, BPS Billing helps you take control of your receivables once and for all.

BPS Billing Integrates Seamlessly Into Your Practice

One of the best benefits of hiring BPS Billing to manage your mental healthcare practice’s back office is the way we can seamlessly integrate into your existing workflows and processes. Chances are good you already have a billing system in place. We designed our software to complement your process and give your staff members the tools they need to do their jobs faster and better.

Simply download our software and in three quick steps you’ll see how user-friendly it is. Through the web portal, you’ll enter patient information, then add insurance and your reason for the visit. You can check the claim’s status at any time, 24 hours a day. You can also easily correct previously-entered information and check an explanation of benefits. If an insurer rejects a claim, BPS Billing will take it from there.

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BPS Billing for Traditional Healthcare Billing

We are proud to say that while we have built a reputation as a leading mental health billing company, we are also now able to service the billing needs of those in non-mental health-related healthcare fields, including general medical health billing, physician health billing, vein and vascular billing, allergy and immunology billing, anesthesia billing and chiropractic billing. We also offer billing software for such areas as rehabilitation centers and cardiology.

BPS Billing for Telehealth Billing

Times are changing with the advancements of technology and the need for remote healthcare. BPS Billing offers assistance with telehealth billing now. To receive streamlined assistance from our experts, get in touch with our professional team.

Contact BPS Billing for a Free Demo

BPS Billing is the mental health billing provider that has helped counselors and therapists for over 20 years. With our help, you can improve your cash flow, reduce time spent on the phone with insurers, and maximize productivity. Why spend time worrying about your back office when BPS Billing can manage the heavy lifting for you?

If you’re interested in exploring how our mental health counselor billing software can streamline your practice’s operations, please contact us to schedule a free demonstration.